Based out of Wrangell in southeast Alaska, our spring steelhead season consists of the last 2 weeks of April and first 2 weeks of May. We provide week long trips for groups of 4 consisting of 6 nights lodging and 5 1/2 days of fishing, meals and transportation to and from the airport.
Southeast Alaska, wild, native steelhead!
|At Chrome Chasers we take our name to heart. Fresh, ocean-bright steelhead are our passion. We target the freshest, brightest steelhead, as close to the saltwater as possible, in remote, small to mid-sized streams. We fish earlier in the year than many anglers hoping to find the earliest and brightest fish of the season. Our season ends early and we target different rivers or portions of rivers in an attempt to avoid fishing over fish that are nearing their spawn or those that have already spawned. As our name implies, we often cover a lot of water looking for the fresh fish, which may involve covering several miles of one river or creek or multiple waters on the same day. It is impossible to only catch fish that came in on the last tide, and we do find colored-up fish and the occasional kelt from time to time, but we do our best to find fresh fish throughout the season.|
The southeast Alaska steelhead fishery has gained a bit of a tarnished reputation for “dark fish” and targeting spawning fish on redds. While some anglers and outfitters have promoted the fishery in ways that further build this stereotype, others have branched out and found ways to approach the fishery in a different, and arguably more ethical and exciting way.
The Fish and The Fishing
|Chrome Chasers offers a unique opportunity to fish for wild, native steelhead in a remote setting. We guide on 9 different rivers and streams that each has a unique character. From mid-sized glacial rivers with broad runs and tailouts, to tiny, steep, rain fed creeks, the diversity of environments we fish allows us to provide each angler with a truly unique steelhead fishing experience.|
Our native steelhead runs retain strong diversity. We encounter adult fish ranging from under 5 pounds to over 20 pounds, sometimes in the same pool. Our average fish run 8 to 12 pounds and often pack all the speed and power that an angler can handle – and then some! Many of our guests leave southeast Alaska with a new definition of “hot”, “chrome”, and “tackle buster”.
|All of the streams and rivers that we fish are reached via the sea, travelling in our 33 ft. enclosed cabin boat, the Chrome Chaser. The streams have very limited access and are basically untouched. The remoteness is a big part of the experience for us, and we find that our guest often enjoy the travel and adventure getting to and from the fishing spots as much as they enjoy the fishing itself. That said, it’s hard to think about breaching grey whales, soaring bald eagles, and majestic mountain views when you’re connected to 10 pounds of dime bright fury fresh from the salt water.|
At Chrome Chasers, we target steelhead in small to mid-sized streams in remote locations. Run sizes vary, but due to the small size of many of the watersheds we fish, the overall steelhead populations are very healthy, but not necessarily large. The runs are 100% wild fish with genetics specifically adapted to the unique stream environments in each watershed. The bottom line is that these are special fish and they are worth protecting. Once you experience one of these fish first hand, we think you will whole heartedly agree.
Are we having an impact on these fish? Yes. Fishing inherently impacts fish. However, we take every possible measure to minimize our impacts as much as possible.
First and foremost, we limit fishing pressure by fishing different streams each day. Over the course of our season we rarely fish an individual stream more than 6 days. This ensures that the fish have the best opportunity to move through the system without unnatural disturbance. It also ensures that our anglers have the best shot at fresh, undisturbed steelhead – the kind that eat flies best! Second, we are a 100% Catch and Release fishery. We fish only single, barbless hooks. Many times we fish only a single fly rig to minimize the possibility of tangling or inadvertent foul hooking on the dropper fly if a steelhead shakes free of the top hook. We use tackle suited to not only presenting flies effectively, but also landing fish as quickly as possible. No light rods and light tippets. We are also experimenting with release nets and fish cradles that allow fish to be landed fast, and photographed and released with the least amount of stress.